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Issue 63 - Cutting no corners (The Macallan)

Whisky Magazine Issue 63
April 2007

 

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Cutting no corners (The Macallan)

The Macallan is one of the truly iconic distilleries but it is not resting on its laurels. Dominic Roskrow went to stay there

Easter Elchies House is an imposing and impressive rural retreat at any time.

This evening, though, as it comes in to view as we walk back from the warehouses, with its walls lit up and every window ablaze with startling light, cushioned in darkness and wrapped in the last snows of winter, it is nothing short of breath-taking.

No shrinking violet of a distillery, this.

While others cower in valleys and sulk behind trees in testament to their illicit past, the Macallan sits high above the Spey on 370 acres of rolling and rich estate, and Easter Elchies stands proudly at its core.

It is a monument to luxury and indulgence, its foundations firmly placed in a history and tradition covering some 300 years.

And this evening, as we trudge back to its welcoming warmth after touring the distillery and estate in the snow, our feet numb from the cold, the timelessness of this setting shines through.

Ahead of us is dinner, whisky and good company, and that's how it has always been here. Easter Elchies is awash with happy memories as generation after generation has enjoyed its hospitality and retreated here after long, contented days spent riding, fishing and hunting. How can such history, grandeur and class fail to impress?

Mistake the timelessness of the building for an inactivity at the distillery as a whole at your peril, however. Tranquil the setting may be, but The Macallan is a whisky on the move.

I'm here because amazingly you have to go back some 60 odd issues to find the...

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